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From the “Small World Experiment” to the “Red Balloon Challenge,” and beyond
We live in a small world, right? But the cost and fragility of navigating it could harm any potential strategy to leverage the power of social networks. Read this fascinating story of the research, experiments, and failures in the quest for using social networks to search information/people:
[Excerpt of the article] Our ability to search social networks for people and information is fundamental to our success.
We (together with Kimmo Kaski, Aalto University) are organizing the ECCS’11 Satellite conference “Complex Dynamics of Human Interactions” to be held at Vienna, September 14th.
You can find more info at http://www.complexdynamics.org
“It’s not enough to have a map of the structure. It is crucial to understand the dynamics of a process”, L. Barábasi
Scope The nature of human interaction has undergone a substantial change in the past years and the change does not seem to be over.
Each day trillions of emails, phone calls, comments on blogs, twitter messages, exchanges in online social networks, etc. are done. Not only the number of communications has increased, but also each of these transactions leaves a digital trace that can be recorded to reconstruct our high-frequency human activity. It is not only the amount and variety of data that is recorded what is important. Also its high-frequency character and its comprehensive nature have allowed researchers, companies and agencies to investigate individual and group dynamics at an unprecedented level of detail and applied them to client modeling, organizational analysis or epidemic spreading .
In the old days, research quality was measured by the number of papers you published. Publishing was a hard process and only few scientists were able to publish several papers per year. However, with the bloom of new journals, the appearance of electronic editorial process, and the specialization of research fields, the number of publications per year has grow exponentially during the last decades. Thus publishing is not longer a good measure of the quality of research.